In past years I’ve struggled to get any ripe figs off my established fig tree (Fig Brown Turkey) in the garden. Living in the south island of New Zealand and having to put up with the vagaries of our summer weather, most years I end up with plenty of figs that never ripen before the end of autumn.
So this year I thought I would try an experiment and plant a new fig tree (Fig Mrs Williams) in my garden. I’ve positioned it against a north east facing fence (southern hemisphere sun is best in this direction). When it gets a little bigger the plan is to espalier the fig tree along the fence to maximise the amount of sun the new fig tree gets. Fig Mrs Williams is an earlier fruiting variety than Fig Brown Turkey, so fingers crossed it comes up with the goods.
Well surprise surprise - we’re only half way through January and already I’ve had ONE ripe fig off my small fig tree. So I can’t wait till early autumn see what this little tree comes up with next.
With a single perfectly ripe fig to play with, what dish to make? It has to be something simple and tasty, so I’m thinking a Fig, Apple & Walnut Salad will be perfect! And yes it was Ç’est Magnifique or Awesome for the non francophiles out there!
FIG, APPLE & WALNUT SALAD
½ c (50g) walnuts, toasted & broken up
2 red apples, thinly sliced
2 green apples, thinly sliced
4 figs, halved
250 g goat’s curd
1 c rocket leaves
parsley, to serve
sea salt and cracked black pepper
⅓ c raspberry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
¼ c walnut oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
3 tsp caster sugar
salt & pepper to taste
Mix all dressing ingredients together in a jar. Shake until combined.
Toast walnuts in a baking dish at 180°C for approx. 5 – 10 mins until lightly toasted.
Thinly slice the apples on a mandolin or with a knife. Add the apples slices to a bowl and cover with water. Squeeze in half a lemon to stop the apples browning.
Set out four serving plates. Scatter each plate with the rocket leaves and apple slices. Place two fig halves in the center of each plate, then dot around the goats curd. Scatter over more rocket leaves, parsley, and toasted walnuts. Season with salt & pepper, and drizzle over the dressing.
All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2019